Pricing The Tribe

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


The biggest surprise this year in Major League baseball by far has been the great play of the Cleveland Indians.

Now, it's true that they've had a friendly schedule so far. They've played a lot of games within the AL Central...and the AL Central hasn't been great as a division this year. They haven't played the New York Yankees from the AL East yet, but did get three games with struggling Baltimore, and three early season games against Boston back when the Red Sox were reeling. Among their six games against the AL West, half were against last place Seattle.

Still, we're talking about a Cleveland team that went 69-93 last season. Nobody thought they'd be 19-8 in their first 27 games of 2011 no matter who they were playing!

It's been tough for oddsmakers to properly capture the caliber of Cleveland's play in the Nevada moneylines. There are many reasons for that.

*Oddsmakers weren't expecting anything like this.

*Bettors weren't either, so there hasn't been a penalty for getting the lines wrong. If anything, people were betting against Cleveland on the 'due theory' that they had to start losing eventually (which still may happen). You don't have to move the line to discourage bets on Cleveland if nobody's betting on Cleveland in the first place!

*Cleveland's starting rotation isn't exactly a group of Cy Young contenders. Game day prices are strongly influenced by the starting pitchers. The biggest name hurlers carry the biggest prices. How high can you price a rotation of:

Justin Masterson
Fausto Carmona
Carlos Carrasco
Josh Tomlin

Those are the four guys getting the bulk of the starts. The fifth spot in the rotation has been divvied up by Jeanmar Gomez, Mitch Talbot, and Alex White.

Carmona used to get a lot of respect in the line, but inconstancy the past few seasons has scared some bettors away. Masterson had an ERA of 4.70 last season, so he hadn't earned any sort of ace type respect. The team may be 19-8, but nobody on the team is seen as a 19-8 caliber pitcher!

*Cleveland's never on TV, so their games just aren't a big part of the marketplace right now. The public doesn't bet much baseball anyway. When they do, it's the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and whoever's in the big TV game. Because so much is going on in the world of sports elsewhere with the NBA Playoffs plus the NFL Draft and labor strife, this may be the least publicized hot start anywhere!

I'm interested to see how the market handles the current Cleveland road trip that starts Tuesday Night in Oakland. The Tribe plays Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday in Oakland, then Friday-Saturday-Sunday in their second trip already to Anaheim to face the Angels. They've been underdogs in all but three road games this year (three games they played in Kansas City). What will the prices be through the series? Then, early next week when Tampa Bay visits Ohio?

I think the best times for the average gambler to try and win in baseball are the first two months of the regular season when oddsmakers are focused on the NBA Playoffs and Triple Crown horse races (plus lines are based on last year's perceptions instead of this year's reality); and then the last month of the season when Nevada is buried in September football money. You've already seen how profitable some of the surprise teams have been...and how painful some of the bad surprises have been to their backers! Boston, Minnesota and the Chicago White Sox were down about 30 combined units after this past weekend! April may be behind you, but May baseball is still ripe for the taking because market prices are so slow to reflect tendencies in a new season.

If you're afraid to jump in the water because you haven't been paying close enough attention (don't tell me you hadn't even noticed Cleveland was off to a hot start!), I'll be happy to help you find the best plays on the board every day. My personal BEST BETS can be purchased online with your credit card here at the website. I've got great rates for the rest of the month of the full season. Prices have been discounted for the rest of the NBA playoffs too. If you have any questions, call my handicapping office at 1-877-822-2276.

I know the teams. I know the pitchers. I know the soft spots in the market because I work smack dab in the middle of the legal betting markets in Nevada. I know who the sharps have honed in on one month into the season. I know who the TV networks are ignoring because they're obsessed with showing you East Coast teams every weekend. You have a friend behind the line who can help you beat the line!

Whether it's baseball or basketball...or even the Kentucky Derby and the rest of the Triple Crown races...the best information will always come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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